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300 the movie and Fascist propaganda

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posted on May, 1 2007 @ 12:27 PM
Now, before I delve into this topic, I have to say, I'm a huge, huge Frank Miller fan. I love his work.

That being said, I, like I'm sure many people here, saw the movie 300 when it came out. I'd have to say I was disappointed by the film, the motivational speeches got a bit tiresome, and I am curious to see how long it would be if you played it at normal speed, rather than super slow motion. My guess is about 24 minutes. But as I've sat and thought about what bothered me most about the movie, I came to a realization.

There are many, many parrallels between the film 300, and the old Fascist Propaganda films of the Nazis, like the Triumph of the Will, Day of Liberty, The West Wall, etc. I don't know if the filmmakers intentionally made these parrallels, or it was unknowingly done, but there are a lot of them.

#1 - Homoerotic Overtones
In the movie 300, the only emotions displayed by the actors was done through their sand blasted abs. These men were more than half nude through the entirety of the film, and the camera was eating up their admirable bodies. If you watch Nazi films, they did the same thing, showing the perfection of the Arian race with shot after shot of sweaty shirtless Nazi soldiers. This is coupled with the next point.

#2 - The vilification of the enemy through the use of Homosexuality
The evil Persians are shown as sexual deviants, with constant bisexual orgies and indulgences of the flesh, and Xerxes himself was protrayed as either a transexual, or a hermaphrodite, depending on your perspective. Even with all the homoerotic overtones in the spartans, they condemn the Athenians as weak "boy loving philosophers". This was also done in Nazi Germany, decreeing all other countries as morally inferior to the Nazi Super Race, especially in matters of sex and sexuality.

#3 - Freedom and Liberty are really neither
In this film, as in Nazi propoganda, we are shown that these noble soldiers are defenders of freedom and truth and liberty, which is then definied in the film as military servitude and complete obedience to the state. Those who don't serve in the military are shown as cowards or weaklings, or unpatriotic traitors. So liberty really is military slavery to the state, and this is the highest ideal.

#4 - There is nothing greater than dying for your nation
Again, the highest honor to be bestowed upon a Spartan, or Nazi, is to be killed defending the fatherland. Those who do not die in battle are dissappointed to not have a "glorious death". I've never seen a movie outside of Nazi Propoganda protray such unfettered and rabid ultra-nationalism as I saw in 300.

#5 - The Betrayer
In the vast majority of Nazi films, there is usually one person who stays behind and does not go to war, and openly questions the validity of the conflict. Usually, in the case of the Nazi films, it is a Jew, or if that's not a possibility someone who is Jewish looking, and in the end it turns out they were really betraying their country, thus sending the message anyone who argues against the states decision to go to war is betraying their country, a traitor who deserves to be put to death.

#6 - The condemnation/extermination of the weak and disabled
The way Ephialtes was treated, as someone to be cast aside, or who would be better off dead was repugnant. Many mentally and physicall disable people were put to death by the Nazis.

#7 - The Practice of Killing Weak Children
The eugenics practice by killing any child that wasn't gong to be strong enough is sickening. Now I'm aware that this is historically accurate of Sparta, but the issue I take with this film, is they do not show this practice froma neutral or matter of fact perspective, or condemning the practice. Quite the opposite, they show it to be the wise move, and the source of the strength of Sparta, that the Darwinian Survival of the Fittest is the way things should be. They encourage the practice. This was also done in Nazi films, via the glorification of the Arian perfect race, and the condemnation and extermination of the weaker races.

Those are the direct comparisons and parallels I've come up with, does anyone have any others to add to the list? I'd be interested to see if the Neo-Cons had any input on the making of this film, as it seems to play right into their ultra-nationalistic plans for invading Iran and Syria without being questioned.

posted on May, 9 2007 @ 08:55 PM
Hmm, about the child-killing... It is historically accurate, and if it wouldn't make a lot of sense if the country that practiced it didn't believe in it... Their culture (within which the film is based) supported this as a source of strength.

Also, the spartans were fighting both for sparta (in all of it's extreme warrior glory), and Athens, which was the beacon of Democracy which we still remember and idolise today.

Though I might be missing the main point a bit, I haven't really seen much Nazi propaganda footage. I would be dissapointed if historical accuracy (not that the film had much going spare) was dismissed for our current moral and political standings...

posted on May, 10 2007 @ 10:12 AM
Many things are historically accurate in all areas of life, like baking bread, making love, preaching tolerance, but it depends on you what you focus on. I too see a lot of propaganda and product placements in movies.

posted on May, 11 2007 @ 11:07 AM
ive read in a few places that the Spartans were gay themselves. A guest on the Daily Show mentioned it a few nights ago as well.

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